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RE: [dvd-discuss] Re: TurboTax for free?

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jeremy Erwin [mailto:jerwin@ponymail.com]
> On Tuesday, January 7, 2003, at 08:00  PM, Richard Hartman wrote:
> >> -----Original Message-----
> >> From: John Zulauf [mailto:johnzu@ia.nsc.com]
> >> Richard Hartman wrote
> >>> John Zulauf wrote:
> >>>> (3) The TPM protecting TurboTax on the disk is clearly
> >> pre-first-sale,
> >>>
> >>> I disagree on "clearly".  Yes, there was no sale, but
> >>> there _was_ a transfer of property as a gift.  That is
> >>> the crux of the issue.
> >>
> >> There is transfer of property on the full functioning 
> "install disk".
> >> TurboTax won't function without (a) key not currently in your
> >> possession
> >
> > The DVD won't function witout the key that was
> > issued to the player manufacturer . . .
> >
> The transfer of the key is an independent event-- it is not 
> distributed 
> on the same media. 

You're right.  For DVDs the key was distributed in
the players.  Purchase a sanctioned player, you 
aquired a key and hence the "license" to view
the DVDs sitting on your shelf.  If you did not 
purchase a sanctioned player you have no right
to view the content (or so claims the MPAA).

>TurboTax is trying to use the same distribution 
> model as satellite TV distributors-- everyone gets the signal-- only 
> subscribers get the decoding equipment/software necessary to 
> decode the 
> signal. Authorization is explicitly dependent on payment of a 
> subscription fee-- no purchase, no decode.

Slight difference.  I believe that the satellite
transmission is also controversial to some people.

A less arguable situation for key-controlled
content would be the (now defunct) DivX or cable

In each of those cases you have entered into a
contract with the content provider _before_ you
ever get the encrypted content, and before you
are afforded the opportunity to purchase a key.
Thus the restriction that you must aquire the
key from the content provider by purchasing it
can be set forth in the _initial_ agreement.

No such initial agreement exists in the case of
satellite broadcast (unless there is one that you
sign to when you purchase the satellite equipment).  

Certainly no such initial agreement exists in the 
case of  the TurboTax "gift" CD.

> If I buy a DVD at my local record store, it comes with a block of 
> decoder keys. If I sureptitiously remove the DVD from the premises, I 
> still have a block of keys. Authorization is not dependent upon 
> purchase.
> But lo and behold, the keyblock itself is itself encrypted. To decode 
> the DVD, i have to have bought a player. Authorization is denied 
> despite the sale. To obtain authorization, I must buy a player.

... a _sanctioned_ player.  Which Jon did not when
he wanted to view his DVDs on his Linux box ...

> So, I go down to the electronics store and secure myself a player. As 
> it fits my legal strategy, I make sure this acquisition is obtained 
> with cash, rather than sleight of hand. A few hours later, in the wee 
> hours of the morning, I secure myself a large DVD collection--and all 
> with the approval of the CCA's legal department.

... but you've relegated poor Jon to prison for
circumventing the DVD protection when he views
his DVDs on his home-brewed Linux player.  Isn't
that what we've been fighting against?

-Richard M. Hartman

186,000 mi/sec: not just a good idea, it's the LAW!